Luis Gutirrez - 28/02/2018
About this WINE
Bodegas Rothschild & Vega Sicilia
Macán is the result of a unique partnership between Vega Sicilia and Benjamin de Rothschild born out of a meeting between Pablo Álvarez and Benjamin de Rothschild in 2003. At that time Benjamin was looking for help to invest and produce wine in Spain and Pablo agreed, not to help, but to become a joint partner in a brand new venture.
The new venture was christened BR&VS and the two partners chose Rioja to be its home, as both Pablo and Benjamin recognised its great (still largely untapped) potential and hugely admired many of its wines. It took more than a few years to find and buy the right vineyards, but eventually they bought 80 hectares from a remarkable 70 different owners for their two wines. In the classic style of Bordeaux, there is a “Grand Vin” (Macán) and a “Second Wine” (Macán Clásico).
This is not traditional Rioja, Macán and Macán Clásico are not blends of various terroirs but aim to express one particular terroir – that of San Vicente de la Sonsierra in Rioja Alta.
Locals would say that Macán is the sort of wine Rioja used to make in the 1960s and it should not be considered “modern”, as such. BR&VS is not, however, following the traditional style of Rioja ageing nor using the Crianza/Reserva/Gran Reserva scale. The pair wanted the freedom to do what they feel is best for their wines; for instance, they have decided to age the wines in more elegant Burgundian oak (rather than the more traditional American).
Both wines spend 12 months in 50 percent new and 50 percent one-year-old Burgundian oak. Rather than trying to fit Macán into Rioja, winemaker Javier Ausas is looking for an individual expression, but also for Macán to fit clearly within the Vega Sicilia family of wines.
Best of BBX: Rioja
A high quality red wine grape that is grown all over Spain except in the hot South - it is known as Tinto Fino in Ribera del Duero, Cencibel in La Mancha and Valdepenas and Ull de Llebre in Catalonia. Its spiritual home is in Rioja and Navarra where it constitutes around 70% of most red blends.
Tempranillo-based wines tend to have a spicy, herbal, tobacco-like character accompanied by ripe strawberry and red cherry fruits. It produces fresh, vibrantly fruit driven "jovenes" meant for drinking young. However Tempranillo really comes into its own when oak aged, as with the top Riojas where its flavours seem to harmonise perfectly with both French and American oak, producing rich, powerful and concentrated wines which can be extraordinarily long-lived.
In Ribera del Duero it generally sees less oak - the exception being Vega Sicilia where it is blended with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot and then aged for an astonishing 7 years in oak and is unquestionably one of the world`s greatest wines.